Friday, March 28, 2014

China Bar, Glen Waverley by Bureaucrat

Following the “it’s hot, I can’t cook” vein, one night we headed to China Bar in Glen Waverley for dinner.

For some time now, Mother Hen is a fan of the roast ducks there.  According to her, the ducks are bigger and tastier than the many local Chinese restaurants nearby that do roast ducks.  With this high expectation in mind, the reality (at least for me on this particular night) was quite another thing.

This China Bar was squishy, noisy and chaotic inside.  When you first step inside, there’s not much room to move – you’re in someone’s way, and someone is in your way.  People mill about the front door (where there’s no waiting area/space) to pay their bills, wait for their takeaway or for a table.  It doesn’t help that the place is long and narrow.

I know that places like China Bar aren’t necessarily models of excellence when it comes to service and fit out.  The grubby, tattered menus, the sticky table, and the service with an attitude can be overlooked provided that the food is good.  However, when the food isn’t good, I get annoyed and wish I had gone elsewhere for my meal.

Because it was hot, we got some cold drinks.  I got an custard apple smoothie, while the Lawyer got the Chinese style three-colour drink.  The fact that they were big serves was the only positive.  My smoothie was bland and I could barely taste the custard apple.  

The three-colour drink was even less nice.  While Asian desserts tend to use ingredients that Westerners would consider to be savoury, (e.g., red beans and corn nibblets), when used properly in a nice recipe they can be quite refreshing with pleasing contrasts in taste and texture.  However, here, it really just tasted like a glass of red beans, corn, bland green jelly with coconut cream and shaved iced on top.  It wasn’t a drink, it was just some ingredients thrown together.

Foodwise, it wasn’t looking or tasting good, either.  The Lawyers combination seafood hor fun came out reasonably quickly.  Again, the fact that this was a generous serve was the only positive.  The Lawyer wasn’t impressed with the dish and described it as “just passable”.  Bland, frozen seafood and chicken pieces with a rather average eggy gravy on top.  

Meanwhile, I waited for my dish – roast duck on rice.  You’d figure a dish like this would come out quickly given that the ducks are already prepared.  But I waited... and waited... and waited some more.  I could tell the place was busy, but 15 minutes after the Lawyer’s dish had arrived, I flagged down a staff member to ask where my dish was (especially since the four tables next to me that placed their orders after us had already had their dishes served).  

They went and checked and said it was coming.  Ten minutes later, it arrived.  And boy, I was not impressed.  I didn’t touch anything on the plate before I took this picture.  I mean, come on.  I know you’re busy and that this dish was late, but you figured that they’d take the time to clean up the errant grains of rice and veggies on the plate to make it look a bit more presentable.  

Tastewise, it was not good.  Lots of rice (that’s the only plus) but it was lukewarm, and it was obvious that this rice had been around since lunchtime.  Similarly, the duck was not fresh and tasted stale and had that unappetising microwaved texture of dry meat (and very chewy in parts) and non-crispy skin.  The veggies were overcooked.

Food – 5.5
Ambiance – 6
Service – 5.5
Price – 6

We weren’t happy and we’re not coming back.  Service is poor, and the food is not fresh.  With the many choices in the Kingsway area, there is no need to come to this China Bar.

China Bar
68 Kingsway 
Glen Waverley 3150
Telephone: 9561 6808

China Bar on Urbanspoon

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